Mangalaman, the NGO, collected the idols, mostly of Ganesh and Lakshmi, from 151 points, and also those discarded at roadsides and near junctions and flyovers, said Ram Kumar Tiwari, its founder.
“Other than idols, the NGO cleaned up garlands, photos, and other worship materials discarded on the streets,” he added.
Shivendra Srivastava, a LMC driver who was assigned to collect the idols said, “Over the last five days, I picked up around 30,000 idols. On Tuesday alone, I collected 3,000 idols. Also, there were idols of Buddha, old-torn photos of Sikh Gurus and Sai Baba.”
Not just their collection, the NGO also ensures that the idols are ceremoniously buried, for which it organises, what it calls, ‘Abhinandan Samaroh’.
Six such Abhinandan Samaroh have been organised over the last few weeks. The last such ceremony will be held on December 3, Tiwari added.
“Idols collected are buried together. Trenches have been dug at six such locations where idols collected from 151 centres are buried together every Sunday. These locations are at Kukrail picnic spot, Aishbagh Ramleela Ground, Khazanabazar in Aishana and Laxman Jhoola Ground,” Tiwari said, adding their project’s success was ensured by around 500 volunteers and dozens of associated organisations.
He said that the fact that most idols that were discarded were made of either baked clay or plaster of Paris was proof enough that people were still not conscious enough for environment conservation, Tiwari said, adding that these two materials do not easily dissolve in water.
“Idols made from raw clay easily dissolve in water and should be preferred. A separate group of science professionals associated with the group is working on a technique to turn idols into manure,” he added.
Municipal commissioner Indrajeet Singh said: “Vehicles were sent to eight identified spots to pick old idols and statues. For this, a junior municipal commissioner was made the nodal officer. Hoardings and displays were put up to spread awareness.”
–Ajit Weekly News
News Credits – I A N S